Planting and Landscaping
Always call Diggers Hotline (811) before you begin your planting project.
Power lines and tree limbs do not mix. To avoid the sometimes-dramatic pruning
that we need to do to keep people and power lines safe, please plant trees that will not grow to interfere with overhead electric lines or underground utilities. For suggestions on what to plant under or near power lines, check out our Power Planting guide
To improve the aesthetics of our neighborhoods, we install new electric services underground. While it eliminates the tall poles and lines going overhead, it does require pad-mounted transformers in backyards.
Many homeowners don't consider electric transformers beautiful lawn ornaments, and we can appreciate wanting to screen them from view. Unfortunately, some customers create a hazardous situation by their landscaping choices. For suggestions on how to reduce the visibility of transformers while leaving space for our crews to work, check out our Landscaping Near Transformers brochure.
Allow 10 feet of clear space in front of transformers.
At least once a year, our service workers open and work on the transformers while they are energized so you and your neighbors don't have to sit in the dark. To safely do that, they use an 8-foot fiberglass "hot stick" which needs about 10 feet of clear space in front of the transformer.
Allow 3 feet of space on sides and behind transformers.
Pad-mounted transformers can overheat and cause a service interruption if they do not have enough air circulation around them. Occasionally, transformers may require extensive repairs and eventually transformers must be upgraded and replaced. In those cases, we drive a vehicle into the right-of-way and use a boom to lift and transport them because they are very heavy. Please understand that we may not be able to avoid damaging your plantings. Plantings in front of electric cabinets need to be perennials, ornamental grasses or annuals only.